The City of Turlock took one step closer to creating a parking plan for the downtown area Thursday at the Turlock Planning Commission meeting.
During the June 28 City Council meeting, both the City Council and Planning Commission met in a joint session to hear a presentation and engage in discussion on the parking data collection, survey results and preliminary parking options being developed as part of the preparation of the downtown parking plan.
During Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting, members listened to an additional presentation about recommended modifications to the original draft plan based on the discussion and feedback received during their previous meeting.
These changes included several items, one of which was developing an implementation action plan so a timeline of when the proposed short-term solutions will be put into effect. A major part of this plan included the desire to make smaller fixes such as improved striping, lighting and other low-cost solutions to upgrade the downtown area.
The presentation also focused heavily on providing education and outreach to the local community about currently available parking lots in the downtown area as well as enforcement of current timed parking spaces and even the evaluation of those time limits looking forward.
The team of hired consultants also requested the city identify potential funding options available to implement various long-term strategies like the construction of more surface parking downtown or even possibly a parking garage.
While the data collected for this project showed there is no immediate need for a parking garage, there is a potential need for additional parking down the road.
“Talking about the more long-term solutions, it’s projected that by 2030 potentially would be the time that we would need to actually increase the parking supply if we keep growing at the current rate,” said Katie Quintero, Senior Planner.
One of the final, and perhaps most important, modifications to the plan was the proposal to include a provision requiring the consultant to reassess the downtown parking plan in three years to incorporate any updated technology or parking solutions that may arise. Staff will also include any suggested actions that the plan be reviewed and potentially updated every five years.
“As we look forward to the future, staying flexible within this plan is really important,” said Nick Hackler, vice chair of the Planning Commission. “The ultimate goal here would be as industry develops and technology develops, we might not have any cars downtown (…) I think the five-year timeline sounds flexible enough to me.”